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Descendant adds detail to a violent Clearance

It's always great to get a glowing review. But nothing beats the kind of email I've just received from Carol Annett, who was born a MacKinnon.
Those who have read Flight of the Highlanders will recall that Chapter One treats the violent eviction of a great number of McKinnons from Knoydart in 1853. It draws on an eyewitness account by activist Donald Ross. But here is Carol Annett:
"Thank you for writing Flight of the Highlanders. You have done an amazing job of telling this story. I can appreciate what an enormous amount of research was involved. What a feat to pull the disparate threads together.
"This subject has been my passion for the past ten years as I have been researching and writing the story of my ancestors. I am a direct descendant of Highlanders from Knoydart who sailed to Canada in 1853 aboard the Sillery. It was exciting to read the familiar, though horrific account of events at Knoydart in your first chapter.
"In 2016, I had the amazing good fortune to live for a week with a couple whose house is at Samadalan, Knoydart, the exact location of the village where my McKinnon ancestors lived. My friend had a keen interest in the history of her home and property, which was essentially an archeological site.
"On census records my friend had for the post-clearance years, I noticed that Allan McKinnon was still living at Samadalan. That led me to research every single family mentioned by Donald Ross in his account. What I found surprised me.
"My research shows that Allan McKinnon and John McKinnon, both mentioned by Ross, were the brothers of my great-great-great-grandfather, Archibald McKinnon, who left on the Sillery. The records show that 11 of the 16 families interviewed by Donald Ross remained on Knoydart for the rest of their lives, despite repeated efforts to evict them. I have census and death records for each of them. The last person died in 1909 at the age of 82. Many, but not all of them, died in poverty.”
Ms. Annett attached a PDF of an article she published in a genealogical quarterly called Anglo-Celtic Roots. It begins as follows:
Imagine you are Archibald McKinnon and the year is 1853. Your homeland, Knoydart, lies within a rugged region of the Scottish Highlands called the “Rough Bounds” or “Na Garbh-Criochan,” as you say in Gaelic. The place-name, Knoydart, is not of Gaelic origin. It means “Knut’s Fjord,” named by the Norse who once occupied the west coast of Scotland.
Though centuries have passed since the Vikings departed, this stark wilderness has not changed. Across the water from your house you see the mountains of Skye— the jagged Cuillin and the cone-shaped Red Hills—depending on the weather. It rains often and storms can be severe. On fair evenings, you are dazzled by a brilliant sunset or awed by the occasional sight of the shimmering aurora borealis. You live in this austerely
sublime landscape with an abundance of wildlife—seals, dolphins, whales, eagles, gannets, otter and deer—and about 1,000 people.
In August of this year, one-third of these people—including you—will leave Knoydart, and Scotland, forever. . . .
You can read the rest here:

Me again: you can see why I love this, right?

Ken McGoogan
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Before turning mainly to books about arctic exploration and Canadian history, Ken McGoogan worked for two decades as a journalist at major dailies in Toronto, Calgary, and Montreal. He teaches creative nonfiction writing through the University of Toronto and in the MFA program at King’s College in Halifax. Ken served as chair of the Public Lending Right Commission, has written recently for Canada’s History, Canadian Geographic, and Maclean’s, and sails with Adventure Canada as a resource historian. Based in Toronto, he has given talks and presentations across Canada, from Dawson City to Dartmouth, and in places as different as Edinburgh, Melbourne, and Hobart.